Remembering September 11th, 2001

Eleven years ago thousands of Americans lost their lives in a horrific act of terrorism.

September 11th, 2001 was my 2nd day at my new job at the US Court of Appeals Law Library in Philadelphia.  We first heard the news from a friend of my co-worker who worked in NY.  He didn’t say what kind of plane crashed so I immediately called my boyfriend (now – husband) because his company (an aerial survey company that I had just left to join the library) flew in NYC airspace frequently.  I couldn’t imagine a large jet would crash and could only think that it might be one of the flight crews that I had worked with.

Then we found out what happened.

Center City Philadelphia was essentially evacuated.

As soon as I left the courthouse I called my dad…and looked up.  Rumors were traveling that Philadelphia was on the terrorists’ list of targets.  One memory that’s burned into my mind of that day is the brilliant blue sky.  It was gorgeous.

Mass transit was a nightmare.  It took me 2 hours on the regional rails to get to NE Philadelphia (a ride that usually took 30 minutes or so).  But I couldn’t even get to the station near where my car was parked.  That line was closed because it was also an Amtrak line that went into NYC.  Someone on the train offered another girl and me a ride to that station since we were both parked there.

I got to the station and went around the block to my boyfriend’s condo.  I walked in the door just when the second tower collapsed.  I sank to the floor and cried.

The news was on the rest of the day following any details that emerged.  The courthouse was closed the next day and when we returned to work on Thursday federal police armed with automatic rifles were guarding the courthouse (and every other federal building in the country).


My son, Noah, came home from school today and said, “Mom, do you know what happened on 9/11?”

Me: yes, did you learn about it at school?

N: yeah … {he then told me about the big planes that had lots of people on them and they crashed into two tall towers in NY}

Me: {almost in tears} did you learn about another building in Washington DC called the Pentagon?

N: no

… I then told him {with tears rolling down my face} about the 3rd plane that crashed into the Pentagon.  And I told him about the 4th plane where the passengers learned about what happened in NY and DC and how they became heroes because they didn’t let the “bad guys” who were flying the plane crash it into another building.  That plane crashed into a field in PA and those passengers died too, but they saved many other peoples’ lives.


Noah has learned about September 11th before, but I think this year (2nd grade) he could grasp what happened that day.

I pray that we never forget that day and continue to teach our children what happened.